MLB Analyst: Aaron Judge 'Playing Catch Up' After Missing Spring Training

Yankees continue strong season despite Judge's early struggles.

by Nouman Rasool
MLB Analyst: Aaron Judge 'Playing Catch Up' After Missing Spring Training
© Dustin Satloff/Getty Images

The New York Yankees have launched into the season with remarkable success, yet their star player, Aaron Judge, seems to be lagging behind his usual stellar performance. As the team captain, expectations for Judge are high, but recent games have seen him struggling to make a significant impact.

During a pivotal match against the Marlins, the Yankees faced a disappointing 5-2 loss, a game in which Judge notably flew out with the bases loaded, missing a crucial opportunity to drive in runs. His performance this season has been underwhelming with a batting average of just .178 and an OPS of .745.

Despite this, he has managed to hit two home runs and contributed six RBIs over 45 plate appearances. MLB analyst Bryan Hoch of the New York Post suggests that Judge's slow start can be attributed to his absence from over a week of spring training, which is crucial for setting a player's rhythm for the season.

"I think that part of this is that Judge did miss more than a week of spring training. I feel like he's still trying to play catch up," Hoch explained. He noted that while Judge is struggling with timing, he's nonetheless effective at getting on base, as evidenced by his 14 walks this season, leading him to an on-base percentage that has climbed to .367.

"Boone Confident in Judge"

Yankees manager Aaron Boone is not overly concerned about Judge's current slump. Boone expressed confidence in Judge's abilities and resilience, emphasizing the quality of his at-bats and his nearing .400 on-base percentage.

"I sure would have liked to struggle like that. It’s a matter of time. I feel like his at-bats have been really good. I’m not too worried about Aaron Judge," Boone stated, reassuring fans and critics alike. Despite the slow start, there's a general consensus that Judge will regain his form as the season progresses.

His role as a leader and a significant contributor to the team is undisputed, and as the games continue, expectations are that his performance will align with his proven track record. As the Yankees continue their season, all eyes will be on Judge to see how quickly he can adjust and start delivering performances worthy of his reputation.

With the MLB season being a long journey, there's ample time for Judge to overcome his early hurdles and help lead his team to another successful year.